Bio: Billy Graham

William F. "Billy" Graham Jr.

Evangelist & Chairman of the Board, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association 



Nov. 7, 1918
Charlotte, North Carolina


William Franklin Graham Sr. (died 1962) and Morrow Coffey Graham (died 1981)


Ruth McCue Bell in 1943 (died June 14, 2007, age 87)


1943 B.A., Wheaton College—Wheaton, Illinois
1940 Graduated, Florida Bible Institute (now Trinity College of Florida)



1950   Founder and chairman, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association 
  Began Hour of Decision weekly radio program, broadcast around the world for more than 60 years
1947–1952        President, Northwestern Schools in Minneapolis 
1945–1950   Charter Vice President, Youth for Christ International, Chicago 
1943–1945 Pastor, The Village Church of Western Springs (now Western Springs Baptist Church), Western Springs, Illinois
1939  Ordained at Peniel Baptist Church, Palatka, Florida




Billy Graham has preached the Gospel of Jesus Christ to some 215 million people in live audiences in more than 185 countries and territories at more than 400 Crusades, missions and evangelistic rallies. A 2005 Gallup poll revealed that 35 million people in America—one in six U.S. adults—had heard Billy Graham preach in person.

TV Ministry

Regular prime-time broadcasts, which began in 1957, have reached millions of households in the United States and around the world.


Billy Graham has provided spiritual counsel to 12 U.S. presidents—from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama. Graham participated in eight presidential inaugurations. Only a Supreme Court Justice from the 1800s has participated in more.



33 books (1947 – 2013)—see list below
"My Answer" (since 1952)—syndicated column carried by newspapers throughout the United States with a combined circulation of some 5 million.     

Select Awards and Honors:    

The following is a partial list of the numerous awards and honors received by Graham:

  • Gallup's "Ten Most Admired Men in the World"—selected 60 times since 1955 (including 54 consecutive years), more than any other individual in the world
  • Good Housekeeping Most Admired Men Poll—appeared in the top ten 16 times, as No. 1 five years in a row
  • Honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE), 2001, for his international contribution to civic and religious life for more than 60 years
  • Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Freedom Award, 2000, for monumental contributions to the cause of freedom
  • Congressional Gold Medal, 1996, the highest honor Congress can bestow on a private citizen
  • Inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame by the Gospel Music Association, 1999—the first non-musician to be inducted
  • Presidential Medal of Freedom, 1983, the highest honor the president can bestow on a private citizen
  • George Washington Medal Award for Patriotism, 1974, from Freedoms Foundation of Valley Forge
  • Sylvanus Thayer Award from the United States Military Academy Association of Graduates at West Point, 1972, the most prestigious award the U.S. Military Academy gives to a U.S. citizen who exemplifies the ideals expressed in the West Point motto, "Duty, Honor, Country"
  • International Brotherhood Award, 1971, from the National Conference of Christians and Jews
  • The Torch of Liberty Plaque by the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, 1969
  • Horatio Alger Award, 1965, for the accomplishments of individuals who have succeeded in the face of adversity



Virginia "Gigi" Graham, 1945
Anne Graham Lotz, 1948
Ruth Graham, 1950
William "Franklin" Graham III, 1952
Nelson Edman "Ned" Graham, 1958
19 grandchildren, numerous great-grandchildren


Montreat, North Carolina

Writings by Rev. Billy Graham:

2015 Where I Am: Heaven, Eternity and Our Life Beyond (Thomas Nelson)
2013 The Reason for My Hope: Salvation (Thomas Nelson)
2012  The Heaven Answer Book (Thomas Nelson) 
2011  Nearing Home: Life, Faith and Finishing Well (Thomas Nelson) 
2010 Storm Warning (Thomas Nelson, reprint edition)
2008  Wisdom for Each Day (Thomas Nelson)
2007 Just As I Am (Harper Collins, reprint edition)
2005 Living in God's Love: The New York Crusade (Putnam Publishing)—Reprinted as paperback in 2006 under the title, The Last Crusade (Berkley Trade)
2003  The Key to Personal Peace (Thomas Nelson) 
2002  Hope for Each Day (J. Countryman) 
1997  Just As I Am (Harper Collins)—Updated and expanded in 2007, Harper Collins
1992 Storm Warning (W Publishing)—Revised and expanded in 2010, Thomas Nelson
1991  Hope for the Troubled Heart (Word Publishing) 
1988  Answers to Life's Problems (Word Publishing) 
1987  Facing Death and the Life After (Word Publishing)—Christian Booksellers Association best-seller list 
1986  Unto the Hills (Word Publishing) 
1984 Peace with God (Word Publshing, reprint edition)
1984  A Biblical Standard for Evangelists (World Wide Publications) 
1983  Approaching HoofbeatsThe Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (Word Publishing)—The New York Times best-seller list; Evangelical Christian Publishers Association (ECPA) Gold Book Award 
1981  Till Armageddon (Word Publishing)—ECPA Platinum Book Award 
1978  The Holy Spirit (Word Publishing)—ECPA Gold Book Award 
1977  How to BBorn Again (W Publishing Group) 
1975  Angels: God’s Secret Agents (Guideposts Associates)—Publishers Weekly and The New York Times best-seller lists; ECPA Platinum Book Award 
1971  The Jesus Generation (World Wide Publications) 
1969  The Challenge (Doubleday & Co.) 
1965  World Aflame (Doubleday & Co.)—The New York Times and Time magazine best-seller lists 
1960  Billy Graham Answers Your Questions (World Wide Publications) 
1960  My Answer (Doubleday & Co.) 
1958  Billy Graham Talks to Teenagers (Zondervan) 
1955  The Secret of Happiness (Doubleday & Co.) 
1955  Freedom from the Seven Deadly Sins (Zondervan) 
1953  Peace with God (Doubleday & Co.)—more than 2 million copies sold in 38 languages; revised and expanded in 1984, Word Publishing 
1953  I Saw Your Sons at War (Billy Graham Evangelistic Association) 
1952  Author of syndicated newspaper column, "My Answer," carried by newspapers across the country with a combined circulation of 5 million readers (column still runs)
1947 Calling Youth to Christ (Zondervan)